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How do you decide to transition


miz miranda

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I couldn't find a similar discussion, so I thought i would ask. I'm someone whose dysphoria surfaced late in life. With the help of therapy and self reflection, I accept myself as transgender. I'm stuck in a tug of way with myself about whether I should transition. I  don't know that I could prosper full time but I can't seem to close the door on the idea either. It seem like I should 'need' to transition but I don't feel that way. I'm 68 and worried about the investment (time & money), my ability to allow myself to override the social conditioning of being a male, the impact on those I love; pretty the same things I assume everyone confronts.

 

I'm doing research and try experiments to see what feels right and they often do. A big party of my therapy was learning to accept and love myself. I have made considerable progress and do want to see how life feels. I have learned some very good coping techniques for dysphoria, which helps but does not prevent it.

 

Fundamentally, was there a tipping point, or a moment of truth that pushed the decision? I would appreciate anything that you could share on your process to chose transition, be it advice, your experiences or resources. I have discussed and she suggested talking with others who have experienced this choice.

 

Thanks in advance.

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You are asking about the single most difficult thing in the whole transgender journey.  We get so used to telling ourselves "No, you can't" that we lose sight of the possibility of "Yes, you can."

 

I was 61, I think, when this came to a head.  I knew I was miserable as I was, pretending to be a man.  I knew I could do it, because I had done if all my life, but I also knew that it was getting more and more painful to carry on like that.

 

The deciding point for me came when I tried to visualize how my life would be if I was still untransitioned when I moved into a nursing home at age 85.  And I realized that I would not be able to handle that. 

 

That was the point at which I decided that I had to do it.  I came out to my wife and started my transition process.

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I'll start by pointing out that transition doesn't necessarily have to be an all-or-nothing matter. That fact has been helpful for me:

 

I've known for a long time that if I had a magic button I could press to instantly become a cis gal, I'd hit that button no hesitation. Since I can't do that and I'm instead stuck with mundane "realistic" transition choices, I've had a lot of concern and worry about what kind of results might be possible for me, given both financial limits and limits of current medical science. If I could see a crystal ball preview of my post-transition self, I have no idea whether or not I would decide I was comfortable socially transitioning and going full-time with the result.

 

So what I've been doing is just taking it one step at a time. I have no idea whether I'll ever go full-time or get records changed. There are surgeries I think I'd probably like to have, but even if money weren't an issue, I don't know whether I will actually choose to. But in the meantime, I've been going for whatever changes I do know I want, or reversible changes that I at least know I want to try.

 

So for example, before I was sure I was even trans at all,  I grew my hair out, got earrings, and started allowing myself some of the feminine-feeling mannerisms and preferences that I normally would've self-censored and not allowed for myself. And now that I know I'm trans, but not sure how far I want to go (or even can go) in transition: All of the changes from HRT are things that I either knew I wanted (even if I were to stay in guy mode) or were at least reversible things I wasn't sure if I wanted, but wanted to try. So I started HRT, not knowing whether I will socially transition, but knowing I at least wanted to go this far, and knowing I can discontinue it if I choose, and the only permanent effects are ones I'm not concerned about anyway.

 

At least, that's how I've been approaching my transition so far.

 

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In my mind, honestly is always the best way to live.  For me, it came down to continuing to live a lie; that lie being that I was okay being a guy, or living the truth, which was that I needed to transition to be who I needed to be.  I am not okay living a lie.  I was never okay as a guy, though I could for the most part manage my dysphoria.  I never really fit in as a guy in so many ways.

 

I didn't discover this until after I started transitioning, but I was angry at having to live that lie for so long.  I had been a very angry person most of my life and I never knew why.  As I began the process, I found the anger to be largely gone.  Yes, I have moments of anger, but not this monkey on my back which used to exist in a constant state of repressed agitation.

 

It took me doing a lot of what Karl Jeung called "Shadow Work" to get ready for transition.  I had to find those parts of myself I had repressed and integrate them into myself in a healthy, mature and positive way.  At the same time, the choice to transition was kind of the culmination of my Shadow Work, being a huge part of myself I had repressed to meet the expectations of my family, friends, faith, and society.  I decided that if they ought to want me to be honest and if they didn't then maybe their love, loyalty, friendship, etc. was not really all that honest and true to begin with.  Friends and family ought to want the real authentic person, and not a facade of what they want you to be.

 

I would ask you then, to consider:  If you're really honest with yourself, and if you really want to be honest with those around you, who are you really?  Are you a gender dysphoric struggling male?  That's okay if it is who you really are.  Are someone who would blossom and grow through transition to be authentically you?  That's okay too.  Be who you are honestly.

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Like @KathyLauren, I started my transition in my early 60s. It took a long time and lots of therapy before I even admitted to myself that I needed to transition. There were, shall we say, outside factors.

 

I can say that my earliest memories are wanting to be a girl, and in my teens there was a lot pressure put on me about the issue. In fact, in the 1970s (when I was a teen) there wasn't even a word for being trans, and my late father had a huge fear of me being, as he put it, "a pansy."  As a result, I was in a deep state of denial. It took two failed marriages, a sreies of "buy and purge" cycles followed by years of counseling and therapy for me to begin to transition.

 

I don't think there was any set point; I've always known down deep I am a woman. It just took a long time and lots of work to summon the courage to begin to act on it.

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I could say ditto, ditto, ditto, … to everything expressed her. Early childhood struggles with my identity. Trying hard to “come across” as a man all my life, joining the military, getting married, taking on the role of father, blocking any feminine feelings that were struggling to surface. Of course people have a sixth sense when you’re trying to hide something. It makes them probe and poke for weakness, so I was always defensive. In private when I was totally alone I would always allow the feminine to emerge, not that I had any desire to suppress it at that point. But when I knew that family or friends were going to intrude on my solitude I pushed the feminine down like I was trying to drown it in the bathtub.

 

Then COVID happened and I found myself at home in my room alone for long spells and I found I enjoyed my own female company and I really didn’t want to separate myself from it anymore and I made the decision that it was too much work to go back and besides how could I face myself if I kept trying to drown this person I loved. So I painted my nails and wore them around the house and one of my daughters noticed and did a double take and I sat down and explained what was going on to my family, my wife and three daughters. They were immediately accepting for which I am very grateful and it helped explain some of the behavior issues I had when they were growing up.

 

I called around at some lgbtq clinics and found one that was reasonably priced and paid them a visit and explained what was going on and the prescribed E and T-blockers and atorvastatin without questions or hesitation. Then I switched insurance over to Kaiser as soon as I could and talked with their gender pathways department, got a tracheal shave, got an official letter, and am in the pipeline for surgery.

 

The mindset after 18 months on HRT is shifting from acceptance of my identity, no longer fighting it, to being comfortable with others suspecting and knowing, to actively wanting others to see or hear less of the male and more of the female.  I'm slowly peeling back the layers to reveal the real me. I stopped wearing a ball cap everywhere I go this week, and I'm enjoying getting compliments on my hair from bank tellers and other people I meet.  
 

I'm active in leadership in toastmasters as an area director visiting clubs and evaluating them against standards and helping them put programs in place to improve and strengthen their leadership skills and membership development.  I'll be giving a seminar on the need for planning at the club level at the toastmasters leadership institute for the district (Oregon and Washington ) in December. So far no one has flat out said I don’t belong, though a couple of folks are a bit passive aggressive toward the concept. Toastmasters voted to amend their bylaws to include a phrase that includes anti-transgender in the list of things considered discriminatory. So that helps a great deal.

 

Testosterone has carved certain features into my face over the last 60+ years and I’m hoping that FFS might help with that. I have asked Kaiser for an appointment to explore that in more depth. 

 

The challenge for me now is how to advance my transition and bring others along with me on my journey, knowing that there will be some ambushes possibly waiting for me. I have reached out to a trans friend in the area, meeting her for lunch tomorrow as a matter of fact, to talk about how to safely move forward with social transitioning.


Hope this helps?

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I feel like there were a bunch of things that added up to it, but probably the thing that finally did it was flipping FaceApp, gender swap let me see a version of myself outside, and I suddenly knew I had to finally be whatever approximation of that after so many decades of denial and repression.  The combination of that and worrying about dying as a man (early covid days) cracked this egg.

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10 hours ago, Aggie1 said:

could say ditto, ditto, ditto, … to everything expressed her. Early childhood struggles with my identity. Trying hard to “come across” as a man all my life, joining the military, getting married, taking on the role of father, blocking any feminine feelings that were struggling to surface. Of course people have a sixth sense when you’re trying to hide something. It makes them probe and poke for weakness, so I was always defensive. In private when I was totally alone I would always allow the feminine to emerge, not that I had any desire to suppress it at that point. But when I knew that family or friends were going to intrude on my solitude I pushed the feminine down like I was trying to drown it in the bathtub.

Good morning,

 

I too, will start off my saying ditto, ditto, ditto...

 

I knew I was different when my mother was pregnant with my two youngest siblings. I always wanted to care for and nurture them. I was 12 years old when the youngest came home, and I didn't want to miss a thing in his life. Then I was convinced that I must be the best Boy Scout and Man Up to the real life ahead of me. I still maintained a "Baby Whisperer" status, able to calm, and nurture any baby having a bad time.  I always knew I was a girl, now woman inside, and going to therapy for a late in life, end of life session brought that out, and I've never looked back. I wasn't trying to end my life. My essential tremors had gotten to the point I thought I may have Alzheimer. My new care team did a great job with identifying my issues, and continued therapy brought me here to deal with transition. 

 

I'm also relived that total strangers can write what they think is their own individual story about being transgender, and then have so many of us reply hands down. DITTO, DITTO, DITTO.

 

Hugs, and best wishes to you all,

 

Mindy🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋

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“Baby Whisperer”❤️ @Mmindy
 

@miz miranda
In my case, dysphoria occurred early and constant.  For so long, it seemed every “door” to dealing with it was closed to me.   So I alternately numbed myself, or, made strong efforts to make peace with my birth assigned gender.

 
Then a few years ago, the doors to transitioning seemed to be open.  
I made a commitment decision to keep walking unrelenting through them, holding only a faith that it was the right thing at the right time for me.  

 

Nearly 4 years into this journey chapter, I saw a miraculous sign on a highway that felt to me it was right to proceed (and also  right that I had waited) 🌈🌈.
Since then, things MOVED ahead. 


It IS a huge investment of time, money, and energy.  Sacrifices happen.  Relationships and everything else in life changes. 
Its probably a one-way ticket with no refunds, once you’re past a certain point. 

Today I have zero remorse from transitioning , and joy in being alive.  

Hope the same for you, no matter what is right for your life. 

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"I feel like there were a bunch of things that added up to it, but probably the thing that finally did it was flipping FaceApp, gender swap let me see a version of myself outside, and I suddenly knew I had to finally be whatever approximation of that after so many decades of denial and repression."

 

Rhonda, I had the exact same reaction.   I actually burst out in tears at the sight of the "real me".

 

But.......I sit here at 60, with a host of endocrine and other medical problems that might preclude medical transition, and I just keep wondering if it's worth completely upending the apple cart to achieve the true me.   The struggle continues......

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Hiya @Miz Miranda,

 

My transition was slow (at least from my perspective). Stephie was born on 11/10/2018. But, she was for one confused. The confusion here was not about my gender identity. I had no doubt that I was a woman. My first worry was telling my partner. How would she take it. She was confused, disbelief, and doubts, but the one thing she did not do was to reject me. This was mid-spring time, by July 16  I officially started my transition by coming out to my therapist. By this time she was supporting me learning, but some doubts remained. So what made me decide to transition This gender therapist that I saw twice, who actually practiced couples sexual therapy. The one thing she did was have me do was write how I would feel going out dressed as a woman, but with obvious male body. I decide to weighted pros and cons list. Each item receive a numerical value as to how important they were and was given a number for 1 to 10. 10 being the most important. This was how it worked out for me.ProPros&Cons of Presenting as a Woman.odtPros&Cons of Presenting as a Woman.odts&Cons of Presenting as a Woman.odt

 

The the pros won out from the cons 46 - 38. That's when I knew I would have to transition if wanted a felt life being reflective by what was in the inside. These were both cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. My life overall has never been better and so while I still have issues, most not connected to gender identity, the real deal is I am a woman, trans if you wish because of the original sex determination on my birth certificate and the conflict between my gender. 

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Just now, StephieGurl said:

Hiya @Miz Miranda,

 

My transition was slow (at least from my perspective). Stephie was born on 11/10/2018. But, she was for one confused. The confusion here was not about my gender identity. I had no doubt that I was a woman. My first worry was telling my partner. How would she take it. She was confused, disbelief, and doubts, but the one thing she did not do was to reject me. This was mid-spring time, by July 16  I officially started my transition by coming out to my therapist. By this time she was supporting me learning, but some doubts remained. So what made me decide to transition This gender therapist that I saw twice, who actually practiced couples sexual therapy. The one thing she did was have me do was write how I would feel going out dressed as a woman, but with obvious male body. I decide to weighted pros and cons list. Each item receive a numerical value as to how important they were and was given a number for 1 to 10. 10 being the most important. This was how it worked out for of Presenting as a of Presenting as a Woman.odts&Cons of Presenting as a Woman.odt

 

The the pros won out from the cons 46 - 38. That's when I knew I would have to transition if wanted a felt life being reflective by what was in the inside. These were both cognitive, emotional, and behavioral. My life overall has never been better and so while I still have issues, most not connected to gender identity, the real deal is I am a woman, trans if you wish because of the original sex determination on my birth certificate and the conflict between my gender. 

Link didn't work.

 

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I'm another ditto,ditto, ditto in my early sixties after my wife's death  a grief counselor got my long held secret out of me and eventually got me to a gender therapist. We spent many many sessions slowly peeling the onion away from my fears. Eventually very slowly changing my appearance doing little things at first under dressing to ladies underwear, clear nail varnish. But when HRT started to have noticeable effects my daughter new something was up and she confronted me about it.  That was the best thing that happenned not that she fully understood but she was  willing to support me if this was what I chose to do. Well now 71 and socially transitioned full time I am trully happy and have been told by my doctors that GCS may now be possible do to improved medical condition. I wish I had been born a girl but these last years living as a woman I would not trade for anything.

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It amazes me that there are so many who transition so late in life. I feel there is more services available to us today. And there is far less gatekeeping going on except for genitals, but some of us are working on it. My concern for now is the elderly population. I have volunteered to talk in the phone. I am just there for them to talk about whatever might be bothering them, or something good to share. My first assignment should come in. Advocacy and gender care have been my desire since I became Stephie

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I made the decision just a few months ago.  It was a tough decision, but it came down to a simple concept for me.  It was simply that other people are doing it and they seem to be doing fine.  The desire is there.  No question about that.  There is the fear about coming out to people.  The fear of looking odd.  The fear of surgeries going awry.  The fear of discrimination.  The fear of rejection.

 

When I came out last week, I experienced the joy of acceptance.  It was easier for me to envision failure than success.  I was caught a little off guard.  Ultimately, I'm out now, so there is nothing to hide and that feels pretty good.

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Hi @miz miranda, for me there were a few crucial points on the way, but probably the deciding one was breaking up with my wife just over two years ago. I was distraught enough that, living alone about 1500kms from her, I considered suicide, and then this astonishing thought came into my head: “If I die I’ll never experience what it’s like to live as a woman.” And suddenly that thought of transitioning, which had always seemed just a crazy fantasy, suddenly didn’t seem so crazy — not as crazy as suicide, anyway.

 

Since then I have proceeded in stop-start fashion. First I researched what it would take to transition to my satisfaction, what it would cost, how much time it would require. I decided it was possible and that I deeply wanted to do it, but I still feared rushing into it. So I left the decision for a year or so while I recovered from the shock of losing my marriage and tried to build up strength and resolve for the journey ahead. Then another turning point happened: having never gone out in public dressed female except after dark, I stayed up all night on New Year’s Eve 2021 and was out having coffee in broad daylight on New Years Day 2022, and no-one hassled me or looked askance at me or even seemed much to notice me. Then I spent all day at a gallery and went home to the friend’s place where I was staying and hung out with him and his kids and I felt GREAT. And I don’t think I’ve looked back since then. 

 

In April I moved again (the third time since 2020) to a big city about two hours from where I used to live with my ex-wife. I came here both because I have family here and because it seemed a good place to transition. In May, as soon as I’d found a job and an apartment, I started HRT. I had already come out to close friends and family by then, and next I just started going out as often as possible dressed female — to cafes, to the park, to clothes shops, on dates; it didn’t matter, so long as I was practicing being out in public. And every single outing felt good and healing and fun and inspiring. I joined a trans support group and made friends and went out with them and felt even better. But I still appeared male about 75% of the time, until now...

 

A bit over a week ago I took time off work. I am a disability carer, and I decided my mental health was not stable enough for me to be able to help others’ mental health. Still presenting male at work meant I had fallen back on old masculine survival tactics to deal with my male client’s “behaviours of concern”, and my dysphoria had skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the more feminine and better I felt in my private life, the more horrific it was to keep presenting male at work in general. So, after a few days of rest, it struck me: maybe the best thing I can get out of this R&R period is to go full-time. After all, this has been my plan for two years now, and, while I’m not quite where I hoped to be physically, I still feel wonderful every time I’m in public presenting female and I virtually never get kickback or abuse; in fact I get a tonne of encouragement. So I’ve been full-time for four days now, and while I reserve the right to lapse back into boy mode if I deem it wise or necessary, I feel so happy I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

 

I am younger than you — I just turned 49 — but I am hyper-aware that my clock is ticking. I’m an artist with many projects constantly on the go; I was also studying until a little over a month ago. But I’ve realised that my most important project is myself. Transitioning is my number one priority. Nothing brings me more joy than the feeling that I am progressing on this journey. I started sessions with a gender therapist in early 2021, laser hair removal a few months later, electrolysis a few months after that. I am having a consultation for hair transplants tomorrow and beginning trans voice training in a little over a week. It’s a huge investment of money and time, but I know I’m on the right track. I don’t know if I have ever been happier, even though I often feel heartbreaking grief that I left it so long. Oh, and my ex-wife and I are now best friends. Our relationship is better than it’s ever been, as we both agree.

 

I hope this helps, Miz Miranda. I wish you all the best, whatever you decide. I love my life now, but I had to hit rock bottom to get where I am.

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I want to thank each of you for sharing your stories,advice and most importantly your support. Even though I don't have a path decided, I feel better about the struggle as important of my self acknowledgement.

 

This has really helped me.

 

 

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On 11/4/2022 at 3:17 PM, miz miranda said:

I couldn't find a similar discussion, so I thought i would ask. I'm someone whose dysphoria surfaced late in life. With the help of therapy and self reflection, I accept myself as transgender. I'm stuck in a tug of way with myself about whether I should transition. I  don't know that I could prosper full time but I can't seem to close the door on the idea either. It seem like I should 'need' to transition but I don't feel that way. I'm 68 and worried about the investment (time & money), my ability to allow myself to override the social conditioning of being a male, the impact on those I love; pretty the same things I assume everyone confronts.

 

I'm doing research and try experiments to see what feels right and they often do. A big party of my therapy was learning to accept and love myself. I have made considerable progress and do want to see how life feels. I have learned some very good coping techniques for dysphoria, which helps but does not prevent it.

 

Fundamentally, was there a tipping point, or a moment of truth that pushed the decision? I would appreciate anything that you could share on your process to chose transition, be it advice, your experiences or resources. I have discussed and she suggested talking with others who have experienced this choice.

 

Thanks in advance.

hmm.. this is ultimately something only you can answer for yourself, but i have to agree that knowledge is power. i think it's wise that you're taking your time to research it, and gather other people's experiences to help you contemplate what is truly best for you, as well. 

 

for me, i've only just very recently begun to come out, and pursue transition. i'm 31 now. i've known that i felt this way since i was maybe 7 or 8. i was very sheltered, homeschooled out in the country with only the family tribe for experiences to draw on, so to speak. i didn't know that others out there felt like me, that there were things people were even able to consider doing to acknowledge themselves, or feel any better in their own unique circumstances. 

 

there are a great many reasons i kept buried for so long, none the least of which involved a great deal of safety, and stability. ultimately, i decided that i have been geared toward survival for so long, and i would very much like to live, to truly  thrive instead, before my time on this Earth is done. it feels late in the game to start this journey at 31, but who knows how much longer we all have? i hope to enjoy a great many more years living as my true self. even just the acknowledgment of who i am with the people i love has given me so much confidence and joy and empowerment, even when they do not like my life choices. i feel as though at least i am showing our relationship, and the love i have for them respect by putting my self on the table. if they choose to walk away, i will respect that as much as i would like their respect, even if i can't have it. it just feels good. it feels right to me. 

 

i really look forward to transition, and seeing where this journey takes me. but, im still early in the game. i've already decided that if my doctors say T or any of the surgery i wish to pursue are not healthy, viable options (considering any other health concerns, asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol), then i may not pursue some of it as actively as i'd hoped. i am also sure i'll face financial obstacles, and things may take a different turn as i continue because of that, too. but im going to go forward, and find out. you know? 

 

i wish you all the very best in discovering your path, and what is best for you. i would also encourage you to seek in person groups near you, if you can. this forum has been really amazing, and i am so glad for it, but i will also say that something about discussing it in person with more people who know what you're going through is another piece of the puzzle i think you should experience. 

 

very kind regards,

Sage

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      One organization that I know of that is dedicated to assisting LGBT seniors is SAGE.  They advocate for, and have services for, all LGBT folks, not just trans folk.  You can find their website Here.  I am not sure what, if anything, they have in terms of financial assistance.  I'll let you know if I find anything else.   Carolyn Marie
    • Davie
    • VickySGV
      This was an angle that I was very suspicious of as well, and may be the hook on which the settlement was hung.      Not at all strange especially if they had former patients who moved there that still owed money on their bills or they were buying hospital supplies from a Texas corporation. They may have business licenses in other states as well.  Small loss, but saxeT shot itself in the foot there since the license was a source of income to the state. 
    • RaineOnYourParade
      Nah it's fine, I'm past the point of really blaming them most of the time. I've gotten used to it, and they could be a whole lot worse.   I'm glad you have a good place, though <3
    • Abigail Genevieve
      I wonder about the professional knowledge level here.  Men have milk ducts.  She, as a nurse, should know this.  This is interesting  https://www.livescience.com/45732-can-men-lactate.html  Yes, men can lactate and have lactated, trans or cis.  The idea that Birdie does not have milk ducts or tissue is just plain wrong.  Her statement indicates that she has not looked at the medical record, which she should be familiar with to treat the patient. 
    • Ivy
      Trans women can lactate under the right conditions. But that's not even the case in your situation.  It's so stupid how they simply refuse to accept your reality.
    • missyjo
      I used to include going ti worship but no longer    awkward good fir you. enjoy. :)   raine  sorry. my family is pretty lousy at support too. my part time job helps alot. hope it gets better fir you n all
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